ASU to Lead Bicentennial Celebrations of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'

Frankenstein vintage dictionary book page art print
Frankenstein vintage dictionary book page art print

They had us hooked as soon as we caught wind of the words "Frankenstein" and "celebration."

The only problem is we'll have to wait a few years -- until the bicentennial of Mary Shelly's classic novel -- for our monstrous, science-experiment-gone-wrong dreams to come true.

See also: - Center for Science and the Imagination to Launch at ASU's Newest Interdisciplinary Building, ISTB4

Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley

No that's not a typo, Arizona State University is really getting started this early on plans to lead a celebration of Shelly's Frankenstein in January 2018. From the sound of it they've got quite a lot in store.

At least they gave us plenty of time to clear our calendars.

ASU's Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and its Center for Science and the Imagination will lead the celebration, partnering with various other entities on projects including a traveling exhibit, film festival, and more .

Shelley provided "The Modern Prometheus" as subtitle for the famous book, which has become an inspiration to young writers and a powerful cultural reference in discussions about science, art and humanity. She wrote the first edition anonymously in 1818 at the age of 19 on a dare to create the best horror story.

Over the past two centuries, the book has spawned dozens of film adaptations and derivative works including music, plays and original novels.


ASU to Lead Bicentennial Celebrations of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'
Still from "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)

David Guston, Frankenstein Bicentennial project co-leader and CSPO co-director calls the celebration a "constructive, intellectual and public endeavor meant to explore the challenges of creativity and responsibility." In addition to stretching across ASU, he says he hopes the celebrations will have global reach.

Plans include working with the Science Museum of Minnesota, ASU Art Museum and ASU Libraries on the possibility of creating a major traveling exhibition that would explore both the novel and "the real-life pursuit of artificial life."

They also have celebrations for the public in the works including a global film festival offering the best and the worst films based on the novel, theater events such as a presentation of the musical "Young Frankenstein," and a costume gala.

"The ultimate goal of the project is to draw global attention to ASU's brand of intellectual fusion and to the intellectual heart of the endeavor - the challenging relationship between creativity and responsibility," Guston told ASU News.

For more about the plans for the celebrations, you can subscribe for updates at the The Frankenstein Bicentennial Project website.

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